News and blog

Every Piece of Plastic has a Story

Every Piece of Plastic has a Story

Every Piece of Plastic has a Story

Written by Grace P. (Year 7)

The wind blew eerily across the wet sand. The beach was deserted. It gave an aura of abandonment- and yet mysterious scent lingered in the air - scent of a former life. Then it was replaced by a stronger scent. The scent of death. The grey sand bore no footprints; nobody had stood on those fjords for a long time. Everything was as silent as the grave. A small figure strode onto the beach. Her hair, wet with seawater, writhed in the tempest. The empty air thrummed. The girl bent her head and carefully picked her way across the debris on the beach. The wind gave guttural, dying shrieks that seemed to call her name “Nova… “

The sand was littered with corpses. Something terrible had happened. But this was a natural disaster like no other. The corpses were not human. They were plastics. Plastic bottles, plastic bags. And animals. Dead animals. Nova looked at the ground. Instead of seaweed, there was a planet-killing assassin. She looked into the dark depths of the water. Instead of fish and life, there was nothing. Empty oceans- except for the plastic. As she stared with ghostly innocence into the waste, she wondered one thing. Where had it come from?

Breath caught in her throat, she reached down to the nearest plastic bottle. Her fingers were millimeters from it. One heartbeat. Her fingers closed around the bottle.

With a jet of bone-breaking electricity, she found herself flung across the beach. A splitting burst of light seared through her brain. The pain was immeasurable. Yet she had seen things she had never thought she would see. She has seen the plastic bottle. More than that, she had seen its story. She has seen it being torn from the shelf by an ordinary boy. She had seen water disappearing down his throat. Worst of all, she had seen him hurling the bottle into a mud-filled creek. Seen him walking away with his sisters. Not looking back. Not caring.

It wasn’t the plastic’s fault.

Head throbbing, Nova staggered to her feet. The world swam before her eyes and she collapsed. There was, she realised, a price to pay for seeing the culprits of the murderous plastic pollution.

Gritting her teeth, she leant forward and brushed her shaking fingertips against another bottle. And another. Limping across the desolate beach, she touched every piece of plastic abandoned on the greying sand and saw their stories. The pain gradually subsided, but soon it was replaced with a burning resentment. How dare they? How dare they kill the planet? She felt like screaming.

Suddenly, with a jolt, she saw something that made her stop dead. Clutching a plastic bag, she saw herself. Her, taking the bag. Her, using it once and throwing it away like it meant nothing. Her killing the world. Not just some people, but everyone. In a burst of understanding, she knew what had to be done. Standing there wasn’t going to do anything. She had to take action.


This piece is part of Scholars' Showcase 2020